Kevin Correia Rumors

Phillies Sign Kevin Correia To Major League Deal

2:35pm: Correia will receive a $650K base salary and can earn up to $400K via incentives, tweets ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick. The prorated amount of that salary comes out to about $427K from here through season’s end.

1:53pm: The Phillies announced that they have signed right-hander Kevin Correia to a Major League deal. Correia, a client of Damon Lapa and Scott Leventhal’s All Bases Covered Sports Management, will join the team for its series in Cincinnati.

Correia, 34, wrapped up a two-year $10MM last season that was originally issued by the Twins (though he finished the deal as a member of the Dodgers). The veteran hurler was a serviceable source of league-average innings for the 2013 Twins, totaling 185 1/3 frames with a 4.18 ERA, 4.9 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 44 percent ground-ball rate. He was hit hard in 2014, though, finishing with a 5.44 ERA and a .301/.345/.473 opponents’ batting line.

That rough year led to a minor league deal with the Mariners for Correia, but he went the free agent route late in Spring Training upon learning that he wouldn’t make Seattle’s 25-man roster. Correia returned to the Giants — the organization that originally selected him in the fourth round of the 2002 draft — and pitched quite well for their Triple-A affiliate. In 37 2/3 innings there, Correia notched a 3.58 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9.

In the press release announcing this move, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said: “Kevin fills a need by adding depth, durability and experience to our pitching staff. We hope that he can give us quality innings to take some heat off the bullpen.” That seems to indicate that Correia will be given a shot to hold down a spot in the starting rotation — a fact that is also evidenced by the fact that that the team optioned young righty Severino Gonzalez to Triple-A Lehigh Valley yesterday.

Correia will join Cole Hamels, Aaron Harang, Jerome Williams and Sean O’Sullivan in the rotation, though it’s fair to speculate that the starting five could look markedly different in a few months’ time. Hamels and Harang are prime trade candidates, and Correia himself could even be moved if he is throwing well at the deadline. Prospects such as Aaron Nola, Zach Eflin and Ben Lively are in the mix to get a look in the Majors this season, so Correia’s role will be to help bridge the gap to a group that the Phillies hope can help to compose their rotation for years to com.


Kevin Correia Declares Free Agency From Giants

Pitcher Kevin Correia has declared free agency from the Giants in advance of his June 1st opt-out date, according to the MLB.com transactions page.  Correia was well pitching for Triple-A Sacramento, but there was simply no room for him on the big league roster.

In 37 2/3 innings this season, Correia posted a 3.58 ERA with 6.0 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9.  Even though that performance comes from a limited sample size of six starts, it’s not hard to imagine Correia fielding interest from teams in need of pitching this summer.

Correia originally signed a minor league pact with the Mariners on March 9th of this year, but he was granted his release on March 30th when he was to be demoted from big league camp.  Less than two weeks later, the Giants picked him up on a minor league deal that included two opt out dates, one on June 1st and another on July 1st.  After pushing the eject button prior to the first date, Correia will now be in search of his third team in 2015.

Correia split the 2014 season between the Twins and Dodgers, struggling to one of the least effective seasons of his big league career. The All Bases Covered Sports Management client served as a durable source of innings for Minnesota in the first season of a two-year, $10MM contract in 2013, but last year he slumped to a 5.44 ERA, averaging just 4.6 strikeouts per nine innings against a solid average of 2.3 walks per nine. His previously above-average ground-ball rate dipped below the league average as well, checking in at 43.2 percent.  Still, both FIP and xFIP feel that Correia’s ERA could’ve been a bit lower, pegging him at 4.67,

The veteran was a fourth-round pick of the Giants in 2002 and spent parts of the 2003-08 seasons with the Giants, working to a combined 4.59 ERA in 398 innings between the rotation and bullpen.

On Saturday, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported that Correia was likely to be released by the Giants this weekend.


Quick Hits: Opt-Outs, Correia, Draft, Rodriguez, Braves

June 1 (that’s Monday) is a popular opt-out date, with multiple players having the chance to become free agents if not elevated to the big league roster. Chris Cotillo of SB Nation ran down a few of those on Twitter: David Aardsma of the Dodgers, Juan Gutierrez and Kevin Correia of the Giants, Rich Hill of the Nationals, and Brad Penny of the White Sox. (He also lists Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but he’s now up with the D’Backs.) As MLBTR’s Steve Adams notes (Twitter links), Aardsma is throwing quite well at Triple-A, and could well end up opting out — making him a nice target for teams in need of an arm.

  • One player who is very likely to find a new home is the Giants‘ Correia, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com tweets. Correia will likely be released today, says Crasnick, as the team doesn’t have a need for his services at the big league level. He has been effective thus far at Triple-A, throwing 37 2/3 innings of 3.58 ERA ball over six starts and posting 6.0 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9.
  • The upcoming draft is not going to feature two eligible players, as righty/first baseman Luken Baker will head to TCU and center fielder Kevin Collard intends to play at San Diego, per Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs (Twitter link). Kiley rated Baker the 40th-best prospect available, noting that he could end up as either a pitcher or position player.
  • In a recent chat, Ben Badler of Baseball America addressed the question of how Cuban shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez (read more on him here) stacks up against current minor leaguers. Badler says that, while some teams place a higher value on Rodriguez’s skillset (weak bat, good fielding and speed) than do others, he wouldn’t place him within the game’s 200 best prospects.
  • Badler also says that he hears the Braves are planning to make a huge push in the international market — not this coming July 2, but next. Atlanta seems to be hoping to take advantage of the fact that several big-spending teams will be restricted from giving out $300K+ bonuses in that market.
  • Roc Nation has hired former Excel agent Kyle Thousand to head up its baseball representation operations as managing director, Crasnick tweets.


NL Notes: Cubs, Nationals, Strasburg, Heyward, Gosewisch, Giants

Earlier, we discussed a report from Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times indicating that the Cubs will be players if Ben Zobrist is marketed. In that piece, he also discusses the team’s need for pitching. Chicago is “in the mix” for Rafael Soriano and could also be interested in Diamondbacks lefty Oliver Perez. Discussing the team’s summer plans, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein hinted that the club will be looking hard at additions — as Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago said he expected on last week’s MLBTR podcast“We’re trying to balance short- and long-term interests,” said Epstein. “But we’re in a situation [in which] we have a fairly competitive team right now, and we have some needs. So you don’t ignore that. You keep it in mind. But at the same time you can’t just go out and unilaterally add.”

  • Nationals GM Mike Rizzo indicated that he believes the club can get by with internal options like Michael Taylor and Tyler Moore while Jayson Werth recovers from a fractured wrist, as Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. The left-handed-hitting Clint Robinson could also see time. My own guess is that another lefty bat could be acquired if the right player becomes available, but that the team will not be aggressive unless the need becomes more apparent. It’s worth recalling, too, that Matt den Dekker is still available at Triple-A, with Nate McLouth still a possible candidate to return later in the year.
  • Stephen Strasburg left tonight’s start for the Nationals after just five batters. As Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com reports (Twitter links), Strasburg is said to have suffered a left trap muscle issue of some kind. The righty, who has struggled uncharacteristically, said that his neck tightened up so much that he had trouble turning his head. While it does not appear that there is any concern with arm issues, Strasburg’s general difficulties and neck and back issues are certainly an increasing problem for him and the club.
  • Cardinals GM John Mozeliak says he does not have any retrospective qualms over his acquisition of outfielder Jason Heyward, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. Heyward has shown some signs of life after a rough start, but the outstanding early performance of Shelby Miller stands in stark contrast at present. “I think whenever you make those kind of deals, there are reasons behind it,” Mozeliak explained. “And at the time, we felt that we had to do something. Not only looking at how we want this club to be put together, but we did not feel like there might be any other opportunities that would meet the type of criteria we’re looking for.” 
  • Though he has not yet been evaluated, injured Diamondbacks catcher Tuffy Gosewisch says a radiologist that looked at the MRI on his knee believes he may have a torn ACL, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic tweets. Certainly, that would mean a disappointing end to the year for the 31-year-old, who has struggled at the plate in his opportunity at a starting role. Arizona has called up recent signee Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who will presumably take a good portion of the time behind the dish.
  • Several Giants players have upcoming opt-out dates, Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News writes. Righty Kevin Correia can become a free agent on the first of June, while third baseman Casey McGehee can opt out on June 5.

Giants, Kevin Correia Agree To Minor League Deal

APRIL 10: Heyman reports that Correia’s deal has an $850K base salary in the Majors as well as up to $800K worth of incentives (Twitter link). Correia also secured two opt-out dates on the contract — the first coming on June 1 and the second coming on July 1.

APRIL 7: The Giants have agreed to a Minor League contract with veteran right-hander (and former Giant) Kevin Correia, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter). Longtime Giants scribe Andrew Baggarly first reported that the two sides were nearing a Minors pact (Twitter links). Correia, who had been in camp with the Mariners but was released late in the spring, would head to extended Spring Training to ramp up his pitch count before heading to Triple-A, Baggarly adds.

Correia split the 2014 season between the Twins and Dodgers, struggling to one of the least effective seasons of his big league career. The All Bases Covered Sports Management client served as a durable source of innings for Minnesota in the first season of a two-year, $10MM contract in 2013, but last year he slumped to a 5.44 ERA, averaging just 4.6 strikeouts per nine innings against a solid average of 2.3 walks per nine. His previously above-average ground-ball rate dipped below the league average as well, checking in at 43.2 percent.

The Giants are in need of rotation depth, however, and Correia can provide that. He’ll give San Francisco an option to use as a spot starter or long man in the bullpen down the line. The Giants’ rotation depth has already been compromised by a strained flexor tendon that has landed Matt Cain on the 15-day DL and a minor back issue that has delayed Jake Peavy‘s season debut. Chris Heston has already been recalled to make a spot start, while Ryan Vogelsong, who had been re-signed as a reliever, has been asked to step into the rotation in Peavy’s stead. Swingman Yusmeiro Petit, who set a Major League record for consecutive batters retired in 2014, could eventually factor into the rotation mix if injuries persist.

The 34-year-old Correia was a fourth-round pick of the Giants in 2002 and spent parts of the 2003-08 seasons with the Giants, working to a combined 4.59 ERA in 398 innings between the rotation and bullpen.


Mariners Release Kevin Correia

The Mariners announced that they have released right-hander Kevin Correia, who was in camp on a Minor League contract. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweeted earlier today that Correia was planning to opt out of his deal after being reassigned to Minor League camp.

Correia, 34, struggled to a 5.44 ERA in 154 innings between the Twins and Dodgers in 2014 — the second season of a two-year, $10MM pact he had inked with Minnesota prior to the 2013 campaign. Correia pulled his weight in the first year of the deal, registering a 4.18 ERA in 185 1/3 innings, but his middling strikeout rate (4.8 K/9 over the past two seasons) and hittable arsenal appear to have caught up with him in 2014.

Still, despite his stumbles, FIP and xFIP feel that Correia’s ERA could’ve been a bit lower, pegging him at 4.67, and the veteran righty has shown very good control over the past four seasons (2.3 BB/9).  Recently, Heyman noted that even though Correia was a longshot to make the M’s, injuries elsewhere would likely lead to significant interest from other clubs.


AL Notes: Watkins, Correia, Surkamp

Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe profiles Red Sox minor-leaguer J.T. Watkins, a 25-year-old backstop who hopes to become the first West Point grad to make it to the Majors. Watkins has spent two years in military service since being drafted, but was given the chance to pursue a baseball career by the Army. Of course, his odds of cracking the majors are somewhat longer those of, say, his 2012 teammate Mookie Betts — who just happened to be signed by Watkins’ father Danny. Here are more quick notes from the American League.


Mariners, Kevin Correia Agree To Minor League Deal

The Mariners and right-hander Kevin Correia have agreed to a minor league deal with an invite to big league Spring Training, tweets Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. Correia, a client of All Bases Covered Sports Management, is in Mariners’ camp today, he adds. Seattle has since announced the move.

Correia, 34, struggled to a 5.44 ERA in 154 innings between the Twins and Dodgers in 2014 — the second season of a two-year, $10MM pact he had inked with Minnesota prior to the 2013 campaign. Correia pulled his weight in the first year of the deal, registering a 4.18 ERA in 185 1/3 innings, but his middling strikeout rate (4.8 K/9 over the past two seasons) and hittable arsenal appear to have caught up with him in 2014.

Both FIP and xFIP feel that Correia’s ERA could’ve been a bit lower, pegging him at 4.67, and the veteran righty has shown very good control over the past four seasons (2.3 BB/9). The Mariners had a good experience with a similar veteran pitcher in 2014, receiving 165 innings of a 3.65 ERA from right-hander Chris Young, who eventually signed with the Royals. They’ll hope for similarly productive results from Correia, though perhaps in a different role; It seems unlikely that he’d crack a rotation that figures to include Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, J.A. Happ, James Paxton and Taijuan Walker when all are healthy (with Roenis Elias and Erasmo Ramirez serving as fallback options), but Correia could compete to serve as a long reliever in manager Lloyd McClendon’s bullpen.


West Links: Luhnow, Reimold, Angels, Dodgers

In an interview with Casey Stern and Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter link), Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said his club had looked at signing Kevin Correia and Kyle Kendrick.  Houston’s interest in Correia was reported earlier this week, while Kendrick has been linked to the ‘Stros as another potential fit to fill out the back of their rotation.  Luhnow also stated that the Astros had been looking at other similar starters with Major League experience.  Here’s some more from both the AL and NL West divisions…

  • The Athletics have checked in on free agent outfielder Nolan Reimold, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko tweets.  The Indians and Orioles are also known to be interested in Reimold, and Dan Duquette said earlier today that the O’s have extended an offer for Reimold to return to Baltimore.
  • Angels GM Jerry Dipoto was non-committal about the idea of his team pursuing any of the top arms available in next year’s free agent market, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez writes.  Payroll space could be an issue given how (according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts) the Halos have over $128MM committed to only seven players for the 2016 season.
  • With Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson both set for free agency after 2016, Gonzalez wonders if the Angels could sign a major starter and then use Weaver or Wilson as trade bait, similar to how the Nationals signed Max Scherzer and now have the depth to explore trading Jordan Zimmermann or Doug Fister.  There were rumors earlier this winter that the Angels were already shopping Wilson, though Dipoto issued a denial.
  • Sergio Santos will earn $1MM if he makes the Dodgers‘ Major League roster, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports (via Twitter), plus another $3.05MM is available in incentives.  Santos signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers last month.
  • The Dodgers are committed to rebuilding their minor league system and thus are wary about exceeding their international bonus pool to sign Yoan Moncada, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick writes.  While L.A. is very interested in Moncada, any team that wants to sign the Cuban phenom would have to greatly exceed their bonus pool to do so, and thus be limited to international signings of $300K or less for the next two international signing periods, or until July 2017.  Of course, several teams have employed the strategy of exceeding the pool limit to load up on premium international talent during one signing period — the Red Sox, Angels, Rays, Yankees and Diamondbacks already face that $300K limit during the 2015-17 international signing market.
  • The Diamondbacks hired former slugger Joe Carter as a special assistant to GM Dave Stewart, the team announced.  Carter and Stewart were teammates in Toronto in 1993-94, both playing major roles in the Blue Jays’ 1993 World Series title.

Astros Among Teams With Interest In Kevin Correia

The Astros are among the clubs “looking at” righty Kevin Correia, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). Houston is still looking to add depth to the back of its rotation after missing on Ryan Vogelsong, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported yesterday.

Correia’s most recent work does not inspire much confidence. But he does have a track record of logging innings, a fairly clean medical sheet, and the ability to generate groundballs at a league-average or better clip.

The 34-year-old pitched to a 5.44 ERA over 154 frames last year with the Twins and Dodgers. He has put up triple-digit innings tallies annually since 2007, and registered an average of 178 with a 4.19 ERA over 2012-13.

For the Astros, the Evan Gattis deal took away one possible starting piece in Mike Foltynewicz, as did last year’s Jarred Cosart swap. Even with Dan Straily now in the mix, uncertainty over Brad Peacock‘s timetable certainly seems to leave room for another arm.

Of course, there are several other clubs that are in a similar position. While Correia is hardly the most exciting option available, his market is yet another reminder that plausible big league starting pitchers are rather a rare commodity.